Box.net, the popular document hosting and sharing service, announced a major redesign of its user interface today, which also puts a lot more emphasis on social features like profiles and activity streams. The new version of Box.net also focuses on collaboration and effectively turns Box.net into a social network for small to medium-sized businesses and groups.
While Box.net featured profile pages before, it now puts them at the center of the user experience. Your profile pages now show the latest updates from your network on Box.net. These activity streams now show you when a file has been uploaded, edited, or downloaded, which makes tracking the progress of a document on Box.net a lot easier. Box.net now also provides the ability to be notified of any updates in your activity stream by RSS or email.
In addition, you can post short text messages to your activity streams.
Box.net Is Now a Social Network
With this update, Box.net positions itself as a small social network for businesses. As Jen Grant, Box.net's VP of Marketing, explained to us, the reasoning behind this is that, according to Box.net, social networks work best when they are built around a certain type of content (like MySpace and music). Thanks to its integration with other online productivity services including Zoho, EchoSign, and Scribd, you could potentially run a large part of your business through Box.net and its affiliated services.
According to Box.net's press release, the company currently provides services to over 50.000 companies. As Jen Grant pointed out to us, these are usually small to medium-sized businesses, or groups within larger enterprises. The new features in Box.net will surely help the company to expand its business